House of the Dragon ReWatch - S1E5 - We light the way

57m | May 3, 2024

In the Vale, Daemon Targaryen murders his estranged wife, Lady Rhea Royce, framing her death as a hunting accident.

King Viserys and Princess Rhaenyra sail to Driftmark to arrange the princess's marriage to Ser Laenor Velaryon, the son of Lord Corlys and Princess Rhaenys, thus uniting the Targaryens and Velaryon Houses. Knowing Laenor is gay, Rhaenyra says that, once married, they can perform their royal duties and be free to have lovers. Later, Ser Criston Cole proposes that he and Rhaenyra run away to Essos and assume new identities. Rhaenyra refuses to give up the throne and says they can continue their current relationship. Criston feels used and despairs over breaking his Kingsguard vows.

Before leaving King's Landing, Ser Otto Hightower warns Alicent that if Rhaenyra becomes queen, Alicent's children will be considered a dangerous political threat to the throne. Ser Larys Strong slyly asks Alicent about Rhaenyra's health, mentioning she was given a medicinal drink. Alicent questions Criston about allegations that Rhaenyra and Daemon had sex; Criston, misunderstanding, confesses that he slept with the princess. Criston expects execution, but Alicent merely dismisses him and keeps the secret; Rhaenyra's dishonesty distresses Alicent.

At a feast celebrating Rhaenyra and Laenor's forthcoming nuptials, Alicent interrupts Viserys' speech, entering the hall wearing a green gown matching House Hightower's signal color for a call to arms. Her uncle, Lord Hobert, promises her full political support. Daemon unexpectedly attends the feast. Ser Gerold Royce confronts him, claiming he murdered Rhea. Daemon denies it and demands he inherit Rhea's lands. Daemon flirts with Lady Laena, Lord Corlys's daughter. Daemon privately questions Rhaenyra about her marriage; she teasingly suggests they wed.

Laenor's lover, Ser Joffrey Lonmouth, realizes that Criston is Rhaenyra's paramour. Joffrey tells Criston that they should protect the wedding couple's secrets. Criston perceives this as blackmail and brutally beats Joffrey to death, bringing the feast to a disastrous end and devastating Laenor. Rhaenyra and Laenor are hastily wed in a private ceremony the same night. The frail Viserys collapses immediately after the ceremony. Later, as Criston is about to commit suicide over his misdeeds, Queen Alicent interrupts him.

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